Village faces calls for fire truck, Bartlett House water

CHATHAM–The Village Board listened to a presentation last week from Assistant Fire Chief Eric Barnes about the history of the fire company and the future of its equipment. As part of his presentation Mr. Barnes presented the recommendation of the village Fire Company Committee that the company needs a new truck.

At the January 28 workshop meeting, Mr. Barnes, along with Fire Chief Paul Rideout, talked about needed repairs to the 1988 fire truck that the company currently uses. They talked about leaking oil and other major problems, including safety issues. They also discussed retiring another truck in the fire company’s fleet and instead of replacing both, simply buying one new pumper truck.

During his presentation Mr. Barnes said that the cost of a new truck would be “dramatically less than repairing the old truck.”

Former Chatham Fire Chief and county Fire Coordinator John Howe, who was on the committee that looked at the equipment, said that he understood that the board has a lot of projects that require funds, including upgrades to the water system and the Tracy Memorial.

“There is never a good time for these things,” he said of buying new equipment. He discussed the possibility of leasing a truck and other options.

The concept of buying a new pumper truck was broached by the chief at last month’s board meeting and the board agreed this month to have the fire company to start the research on a replacement truck. The matter will likely be on the agenda for the next regular meeting.

Also at last week’s workshop meeting, the board discussed a request from Taconic Engineering, DPC, to connect the Bartlett House in the hamlet of Ghent to the Village of Chatham water system. In a letter addressed to Mayor Tom Curran the engineer, Sean Howard, wrote, “On November 24, 2015, we received your verbal approval with the agreement that our client would be responsible for the costs associated with the labor and materials needed for construction. During a subsequent conversation with Public Works employee Philip Genovese, we agreed that the work would be completed by a separate contractor with visual inspection and approval by the Village of Chatham Public Works personnel.”

The letter goes on to say that a water connection design plan had been created. “Following your written approval of the connection, we intend to contact the Village of Chatham DPW to request approval to accept ownership and maintenance of the proposed 4” water main to be located within the existing State Route 66 Right of Way.”

“There are many unknowns” about the proposed water main connections, Mayor Curran said at the meeting. The village does supply water to properties in Ghent along Route 66 but the water line ends before the Bartlett House, a four-story brick structure now undergoing extensive renovations. “The Bartlett House is 250 feet short of our line,” Mr. Curran said.

The board agreed to have the Village Engineer Pat Prendergast look into the request. “I think we should go into this carefully,” Mr. Curran said.

Workers at the building attached banners January 20 to the front and back that say, “Kitchen, Bakery, Cafe opening in 2016.”

The next Chatham Village Board meeting will be February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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